Peter and Denise are creating three statues: a central 10’ 6” statue of Shakyamuni Buddha seated on a lotus, which will be flanked by two 7’ 11” standing statues—the Buddha’s attendant, Venerable Ananda, to his right, and the Buddha’s stepmother and the first Buddhist nun, Venerable Gotami, to his left.
We are especially excited about creating a statue of Venerable Gotami as there are few sculptures of her in the world. We only know of four: at Wat Thepthidharam in Thailand, Dongyu Gyatsal Ling in India, Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico, Fo Guan Shan Buddha Museum in Kaoshiung, Taiwan .
Why Peter and Denise Griffin?
In December 2018, when Venerable Chodron stayed at Amitabha Buddhist Center (ABC) while teaching in Singapore, she was struck by the beauty of the 1000-Armed Chenrezig statue on their main altar.
That’s about the time Buddha Hall planning began in earnest. Naturally, we asked ABC President Hup Cheng about the artists who had brought their stunning Chenrezig to life. Would they be a good choice for the Abbey’s project?
Hup Cheng was unequivocal: “I rejoice in your intention to build big Buddha statues. Peter and Denise Griffin are the right people to do it!”
Thus began a series of email exchanges and Zoom meetings to discuss working together to design the Buddha Hall’s main altar and statues. It didn’t take long for the Abbey building team—Venerables Chodron, Tarpa, Samten, and Damcho—to agree with Hup Cheng. Peter and Denise are the right people for this beautiful project!